U.S. Small Business Administration loans may dry up by the end of Wednesday even as businesses seek relief from closures brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg has reported.
The SBA’s emergency Paycheck Protection Program was established by Congress as part of its $2.2 trillion coronavirus-relief package. The PPP allocated $349 billion for loans to small businesses, and had used up $301 billion of that sum by Wednesday. Republicans and the White House have pushed to add $251 billion more to the program. But Senate Democrats have pushed back, calling for targeted relief to minority- and women-owned companies as well as local governments and hospitals.
On Wednesday, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) met with Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin to attempt to make a deal, but the gulf between Republicans and Democrats on the issue remains, even as the urgency to resolve it has increased over the past week.
“Loans will STOP if funds for guarantees are exhausted no matter how much/little has been disbursed,” Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) wrote on Twitter on Monday. “That’s why we need funds ASAP.”
The additional funds, if passed, will add to what has already been an unprecedented federal effort to combat the pandemic’s economic effects, as the nation’s economy reels from massive unemployment and enforced shutdowns of businesses considered nonessential.